Research Article

Differences in durations of stay for surgery in the NHS and private sector in England and Wales.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1985; 290 doi: (Published 30 March 1985) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1985;290:978
  1. B T Williams,
  2. J P Nicholl,
  3. K J Thomas,
  4. J Knowelden


    Median durations of stay in England and Wales for eight "marker" operations were consistently shorter for patients in pay beds in the National Health Service than for patients in independent acute hospitals or public sector beds. This pattern was seen for both preoperative and postoperative stay and among specific age groups. Differential use of other hospitals for part of the period of care was not a factor, except for patients having hip replacement operations treated in NHS pay beds, one in seven of whom appeared to transfer to public sector care postoperatively. These findings suggest that there is scope for a possible further reduction in durations of stay in public sector beds and, within the private sector, for an assessment of whether spells in independent hospitals need be longer than in NHS pay beds.